March was such a fun month for this foodie and it started out with the grand opening for Imperial Lamian, which I got to attend. Located in River North, the restaurant offers modern Chinese cuisine crafted by three renowned Chefs, Chef Lam, Chef Tiong and Chef Hongjun. The décor itself is extravagant and rustic, and immediately reminded me of Indonesia, where I’ve lived many moons ago. Only to find out that the restaurant is a U.S. debut of a Jakarta-based chain, which got me even more excited. We were welcomed with champagne, and the place was humming with energy when I walked in. Food and drinks were flowing, as I got my hands on some namesake Lamian (a specific type of Chinese noodle) after watching a fun demo of its preparation. The Crispy Prawn with wasabi aioli and the Vegetable Spring Rolls were my favorite.
The Pork Long Bao soup dumplings were also a crowd favorite, which I missed out on due to my pescetarian limitations. However, I wasn’t about to miss out on the Sesame Balls with lotus paste for dessert. These exotic, scrumptious little balls were the perfect sweet ending. All of this with a constant supply of one of their featured (and my favorite cocktail), The Garden of Good which was a refreshing concoction of Ketel One, French Fields rooibos and Giffard Orgeat. And as a special treat, guests were also entertained with a Dragon Performance (https://vimeo.com/160193762). This opening was way too much fun and I’m still thinking about it. Can’t wait to go back!
The very next week, I attended a media dinner at Earls Kitchen + Bar, a family owned chained that came to Chicago’s Lincoln Park last fall. This was my second visit there and I have to say the restaurant keeps getting better with each visit. Everything from the cocktails to the service is done to perfection here. And their commitment to conscious sourcing is commendable. I wanted to try something different this time so I ordered the Frozen White Peach Bellini for my cocktail.
All I can say is that this drink will make you forget you are in the middle of winter with its amazing, cool blend of Bacardi gold rum, white wine, fresh peaches and red sangria. The concoction is simply genius! The Tuna Tostadas, which I’ve written about before, were still just as delicious and remain my favorite. That chili rub marinates so well into the albacore and the jicama gives it a nice crunch. I was lucky enough to try their seasonal White Chocolate Banana Cream Pie for dessert. The brown sugar cookie is such an innovative touch to hold the perfect weight of the white chocolate custard, which is full of decadence. I can’t seem to get enough of this place! Earl’s has a lot of new features on its menu so be sure to check it out!
I can’t wait to see what April brings!